Unkai Japanese Cuisine – Affordable Seafood & Sashimi at Hawker Centre
Old Airport Road has a huge food centre that even some tourists know about. It houses famous local stalls such as 新美香卤面 Xin Mei Xiang Lor Mee, Dong Ji Fried Kway Teow, Hua Kee Hougang Famous Wanton Mee and many more. While having my usual breakfast date with friends there recently, we stumbled upon one stall that serves grilled hotate, fresh oysters, sashimi and crabs (cold/grilled). The menu offerings also include tempura, soba and udon dishes. The most enticing part – you get all these dishes at reasonable prices.
If you’re in a big group, you can start off your hawker feast with some fresh seafood selection such as the Hotate Tobiko Yaki ($15). Each order consists of five perfectly grilled scallops. These delightful bite-sized scallops are served with their shells. Topped with a layer of mayonnaise with flying fish roe, the scallops are flame-torched for a charred finish. Each bite was full of flavours and textures. While you can still taste the natural sweetness of the scallops, the creamy mayonnaise and slightly crunchy tobiko gave it a little more oomph. Expect to wait around 15-20 minutes as these scallops are freshly baked upon order.
The Premium Fresh Oysters ($18 for 1/2 dozen) looked so appetising and we knew we had to try them. They arrived freshly shucked and each mouthful bursts with juices. Just squeeze a few dollops of lemon juice with hot Tabasco sauce and you get to begin your meal on a satisfying note! Besides, where else can you get oysters at $3 per piece?
Being a hardcore fan of sashimi, I can never resist the urge to indulge whenever the opportunity arises. The Sake Sashimi ($6) which includes 5 slices of fresh salmon impressed me. Presented on a bed of ice and dressed with shredded daikon, each piece had a good cut. The thickness was just right and consistent with each slice.
If you prefer a heartier meal, you can go for the Ten Zaru Udon ($7.50), consisting of udon and a serving of an assortment of tempura. Unfortunately, this dish did not shine as much as the seafood. The udon was slightly chewy and you have to dip it in the accompanying Tsuyu sauce, made with bonito, kelp and soya sauce. The shrimp and vegetables tempura were quite well prepared, boasting crisp exteriors with savoury interiors. If you just want to snack, you can get the Ebi Tempura ($7) dish that doesn’t come with any noodles.
Although Old Airport Road Food Centre already has many local hawker favourites to offer, the next time you visit, you should give Unkai Japanese Cuisine a try if you want to have a variety of food. With seafood choices that are fresh and reasonably priced, we now have a new hidden gem to return to, especially on days when the Japanese cravings kicks in.
Unkai Japanese Cuisine
Address: #01-89, 51 Old Airport Road, Old Airport Road Food Centre, Singapore 390051
Opening Hours: 10am to 10pm daily.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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